March 2022

Wiki Club Gathering March 1, 2022: Roberta’s Sum-Up on Biographies

This month we looked at biographies: articles about real people. Different and understandably much tighter rules apply to living subjects than to deceased ones. As with most Wikipedia articles, it is easier to add to an existing one. Creating a new biography is not difficult, but you need to ensure that you have all your pieces of evidence to hand.

NB A re-cap of the basics is at the bottom of this document.

March is Women’s History Month, which makes Wikipedia focus even more on its gender gap, slightly less bad than a few years ago. March 8 is International Women’s Day.

We also, given the Russian invasion, looked briefly at articles on Ukraine, not an area I was expecting. By sheer coincidence – and yes, I have the receipts – the second annual Ukrainian Cultural Diplomacy Month is running from mid-February to mid-March. It is a co-production of the Wikimedia Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ukrainian Institute. 

Things to bear in mind for biographies

Useful stuff

  • Monthly “Women in Red” editathon at the University of Edinburgh (Eventbrite link – Zoom)
  • Connected Heritage events for the GLAM sector (Eventbrite link – Zoom)
  • Events organised through Wikimedia UK ( list)
  • Events organised through Art + Feminism (list )


  • Savella Stechishin, a Ukrainian-Canadian home economist – adding context.
  • Ukrainian cuisine – not a biography, but a good example of improving the lead.
  • Sophie Coe, after whom the OSFC has named a prize, was born to Ukrainian immigrants to the USA. Her biography mentioned and linked to the biographies of her WP:NOTABLE father and husband. Their biographies, however, did not properly acknowledge her. I have improved this. More remains to be done: dig in!

Things to do

And keep editing!  


The place to go for 24/7 help is Wikipedia:Teahouse – as in, a calm environment to relax and learn. “A friendly place where you can ask questions, to get help with using and editing Wikipedia.”

If you can’t remember the link you need, use a search engine. Wikipedia’s behind-the-scenes pages are often difficult to find. Its internal terminology can be obscure.

What next for Wiki Club?

The dates are fixed and ongoing; the subjects are fixed only for the next two months ahead. .

  • Tuesday 5 April – Links and categories – making your article findable
  • Tuesday 3 May – The bottom of the page (see also, references, external links, cross-wiki projects, etc.)

What would you like to see for future months? 

And a re-cap of the basics:

If you are a complete newbie, start with the hour-long video I made for the 2020 Symposium. Some people then like to dive straight in; others prefer to learn more first. Here is a list of short how-to videos; most are 3-5 minutes long.

Beginner Training (from Art + Feminism, a group created to combat systemic inequalities ) 

Userpages and the Sandbox

Basic Rules of Wikipedia editing

Adding Citations

Anatomy of a Page

Creating New Articles

Wikipedia Training Video Part 1 – followed by parts 2 & 3

Produced by the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikipedia Adventure – long but light-hearted

Various sources

Editing Basics (Visual Editor) – this is the option that looks like a regular word processor

How to Create a Wikipedia Account – Tutorial

How to Edit a Wikipedia Article

These are all videos. If you prefer your training in writing, use the titles above to search for an equivalent written how-to.